Hayley Reynolds from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute briefly describes the focus of her PhD research. Hayley has developed a 3D computer-based human model to visualise where a melanoma is likely to spread from any area of the skin.
My PhD, in layman's terms, is looking at the disease of melanoma, which is skin cancer, and mapping how melanoma spreads after it has metastasised further from the skin. So if you develop melanoma, it will usually appear on the skin, and then, over time, if it’s not treated, it can spread to lymph nodes. They are also called lymph glands, and they are all around the body, and it’s important for doctors to know where those lymph nodes are that the melanoma might have spread to, so that they can check the patients and determine whether their cancer is at a more advanced stage, and then they will determine their treatment more accordingly. So my project is trying to visualise how a melanoma is likely to spread from any area of skin on the body.